Ole Miss to Move Three Offensive Players to Defense for Saturday Against Auburn

Nate Gabler

The Ole Miss defense is struggling with COVID-19 cases and subsequent contact tracing. They're also struggling with injuries on that side of the football.

This has led the Ole Miss football coaching staff to move as many as three offensive players from that side of the ball to the defense. Head coach Lane Kiffin said on Wednesday that all three may see action on Saturday against Auburn.

"We're struggling with numbers over there. That's where the injuries, and especially COVID-19 and social tracing that have hit us," Kiffin said. "We've moved Mark Britt and then there's two others that you would know their names that we've moved over there."

Moving Britt to defensive back actually happened during Ole Miss training camp. Early in camp, the Rebel secondary was struggling with COVID-19 cases, leaving many missing time. The Rebels then moved Britt, a four-star freshman who came to Ole Miss after playing wide receiver and defensive back in high school, from offense to defense. 

(MORE: True Freshman Marc Britt Moving to, and (for now) Starting at Safety)

To this point in the year, Britt has recorded no stats, and there's also no evidence that he's even played a snap thus far. Apparently, that's going to change on Saturday.

Kiffin said there is also two others, two players that Rebel fans will know, that will also likely see time. 

"I think, you'll actually see one, if not both of (the new defenders) on Saturday," Kiffin said. "That's how bad our numbers are over there. We're just trying to make the best of a situation that none of us have been in."

This idea isn't super out of the blue or even incredibly foreign to Kiffin. It's something he had to deal with because of sanctions at USC leading to a limited roster. He called it "very challenging." But honestly, for an Ole Miss defense that has struggled mightily in three of four games, maybe it could be a spark plug.  

(MORE: Ole Miss To Cross-Rep Skill Positions from Offense to Defense, vice vera)

The Rebel staff also mentioned this idea about a month ago. They were prepared for such a situation. During training camps, Ole Miss had days where they would cross-rep skill position players to the other side of the field, just in case this would be needed.

Now, because of mostly COVID-19 issues, it's going to be needed against Auburn.

More From The Grove Report:

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Everything Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn is Saying about Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin

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